The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, since its first publication in 1957, has become the indispensable one-volume reference work on all aspects of the Christian Church. This new third edition, the first in over twenty years, builds on the unrivaled reputation of the previous editions. Extensively revised and updated, it reflects important changes in academic opinion and Church organization. There is increased coverage of the Eastern Churches, issues in moral theology, and developments stemming from the Second Vatican Council. Many new entries have been added--including articles on Liberation Theology, the ordination of women, Christianity in Vietnam, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, and the ethics of contraception and abortion--and the extensive bibliographies have been brought up to date. Readers are provided with over 6,000 authoritative cross-referenced A to Z entries covering all aspects of the subject. Theological issues addressed include the development of doctrines in different Churches, heretical movements and spirituality and their exponents, and the discoveries of Nag Hammadi and their significance for Gnosticism. Coverage of patristic scholarship includes subjects like the problems of Macarius of Egypt and Macarius/Simeon and the recently discovered Sermons of St. Augustine. Churches and denominations are covered in detail, including the beliefs and structures of both the mainstream and the lesser-known denominations such as Shakers, Amish, and Wee Frees and lengthy articles on the history of Christianity throughout the world, in countries such as Ireland, Spain, Poland, Canada, New Zealand, Angola, Zaire, and the Phillipines. The Church calendar and organization is a major area of coverage, with articles such as feast and saints' days; Sacraments; church services, offices, rites, and practices; canon law including Catholic revision; councils and synods; and religious orders. Extensive biographical entries include saints, popes, patriarchs, and archbishops; mystics, heretics, and reformers; theologians and philosophers; and artists, poets, and musicians whose work has been influenced by Christianity.